From Iceland — Twelve Bars in Twelve Hours

Twelve Bars in Twelve Hours

Published June 18, 2015

We at the Grapevine do not encourage people to drink to excess, but if you ever wanted to have twelve drinks at twelve bars in twelve hours, we’ve mapped out the best way to do that! Most bars in Reykjavík have a happy hour, and if you align them in the correct order on a Friday, you can get a dozen in a row. If you give yourself around twenty minutes to get from place to place, we reckon you should be able to make it. You’ll need to have a friend with you, though, as one of the places on our list has a two-for-one deal. So, have a hearty meal before you set out, pack a snack to nibble on between places, and have fun! All of these entries and more can be found on our “Appy Hour” app, available in the App Store and on the Android Market. You should get it, it’s very handy.

Rio Sportbar

Rio Sportsbar, Hverfisgata 46 @13:00
750 ISK

Rio is the no-nonsense kind of sports bar that shows all the big football matches, and offers patrons the opportunity to play darts and pool. Maybe you should play a round before the night wears on and your fine motor skills become not-so-fine.


Skúli Craft Bar, Aðalstræti 9 @14:00
700 ISK

This lovely craft beer bar is the ultimate tease, as it has a selection of fourteen different craft beers on tap, but only Bríó and one other select draft beer is included in the happy hour. If you can’t resist the temptation, we won’t blame you.

“Despite some ups and downs, Kaffibarinn has remained the undisputed reigning champion of Reykjavík nightlife and drinking for well over a decade. They are a true nightlife institution.”

Kaffibarinn, Bergstaðastræti 1 @15:00
600 ISK

During the night, this is one of the most reliably lively bars in Reykjavík, but you won’t experience any of that at this hour. Chill, drink your beer, and dream about the fun you’ll have here after this pub crawl.


Bar 7, Frakkastígur 7 @16:00
350 ISK

This stop has both the smallest bar and the cheapest happy hour on offer. If you don’t fancy craft beers or whisky, you can just stay here for a few hours, skip the next few stops, and shave off a bit of change. Maybe you can make it back on the slots machine. And maybe the bartender will even take song requests.

Best Beer Selection: Microbar

Micro Bar, Vesturgata 2 @17:00
Beer: 700 ISK

Micro Bar prides itself on having a great selection of (you guessed it) micro-brew beers, and they routinely rotate what’s on happy hour. They don’t ever have live performances, and on sunny days you’ll probably get away with sitting outside.

Kaldi Bar, Laugavegur 20b @18:00
Beer: 650 ISK

Kaldi beer may be brewed far up in the North of Iceland close to Dalvík, but it has a bar dedicated to it in Reykjavík that serves the beer filtered and unfiltered. The place is a real treat, the waiters are nice, and if you are lucky, DJ Flugvél og geimskip might even serve you your beer.


Dillon, Laugavegur 30 @19:00
Whisky: 550 ISK

This stop features our very first non-beer recommendation, as Dillon isn’t just a bar, it’s a whiskey bar! Make sure to ask the bartender for recommendations as to whether you should have your drink smooth, with a few drops, or on the rocks. If you don’t fancy the water of life, you can get a beer instead for the same price.

“Quintessentially Icelandic in every way. The coffee, the cake, the vibe. If I were to point a visiting friend to ‘the essence of Iceland,’ this is where I would send him.”

Tíu Dropar, Laugavegur 27 @20:00
Wine: 750 ISK

In case you haven’t been stuffing your face with junk food between bars, you should order something from Tíu Dropar’s menu. If you don’t want to mix berries with barley, fret not, for the cosy French-themed basement café also has beers on tap for the same price.


Gaukurinn, Tryggvagata 22 @21:00
Beer: 600 ISK

This live venue offers a great rock ‘n’ roll feel with dark walls, wooden tables, leather couches, and cheap beer. If you’re not sure you can keep going, you can stick around and just enjoy the friendly vibe before a kvlt metal band starts playing so loudly that your eardrums explode, your eyes pop out, and your face melts off.

Bjarni Fel

Bjarni Fel, Austurstræti 20 @22:00
Beer: 545 ISK (2-4-1)

Don’t worry, you’re not experiencing déjà vu, this is another sport bar—you can tell by the twenty TV sets broadcasting all kinds of sports events. Do note you’ll have to buy two beers to enjoy this deal, so bring a friend or suck it up.


Austur, Austurstræti 7 @23:00
Beer: 800 ISK

Austur is one of Reykjavík’s few real clubs, and it features all the body builders, banksters and artificially orange people that come with that. And a dance floor, too, but you’re probably too wasted at this point to do anything other than fall over and get trampled over by a former school bully-turnedunemployed schmuck. Hang in there buddy, only one more stop to go!

Bar 11

Bar 11, Hverfisgata 18 @00:00
Beer: 500 ISK

At this time on a Friday evening you can expect a dirty rock band to be whipping the crowd into frenzy with guitar shreds and yeah-yeahs. In other words, if you want to avoid spilling your beer, don’t go into the pit downstairs. If it seems like a good idea, it’s most likely the alcohol talking. Either way, you made it to the end of the line and can allow yourself to do something stupid.

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